20 Questions: 2019 Grammys Review

Anyone excited for this year’s Grammys?

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This year promised at least a little spicy controversy – Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino all turned down offers to perform, meaning that a host of female artists stepped up when the Y chromosomes bailed.

Meanwhile, there was a ton of debate about a certain Girl from the Block doing a tribute to Motown – but more on that later.

If you decided to skip the show, here’s what you missed, along with 20 questions that crossed my mind while watching:

1. The show opened up with a performance of  “Havana,” featuring Camila Cabello, a decently dressed Young Thug for once and, um, Ricky Martin? The Grammy’s big gimmick this year is “mashup performances,” which was as exciting as eating trail mix – it’s all good until a crusty, unwanted raisin winds up on your tongue. The performance was aight, just a little flat.

2. Host Alicia Keys, who judging by her headwrap just woke up and put a pot of grits on the stove, opened us up.

Every black woman on Twitter every time she spoke:


But you wanna know the best way to win over a hostile crowd? Bring Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett-Smith and FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO THE STAGE. Crowd went especially insane for Michelle and rightfully so. Recognize a real don when you see oneeeee.

3. The winner of the night’s first big award: Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper win Best Pop Duo for “Shallow.” Is anyone shocked by this?

4. Why is Cardi B dressed like a flower monster that would fight the Power Rangers?

cardi flower

5. Listen, I really like Kacey Musgraves, she’s a phenomenal talent. But wasn’t her delivery of “Rainbow” TOO nervous and restrained? It sounded like a very good high school talent show performance.

6. CAN WE TALK TALENT? Janelle MyBae hit the stage, making “Make Me Feel” sound like a robotic masterpiece. Janelle turned the stage into an intergalactic dance party while your fave can’t even lip synch convincingly. Shout out to the real talent.

7. So, things get really weird as Alicia tells a bizarre story about how she should have won the Grammy in 2004, but when John Mayer won he felt bad and broke the trophy in half to give her  joint custody of the award.

Alicia Keys is like that aunt who tells the same weirdo stories OVER and OVER every holiday gathering. “Did I tell you when I got two bags of chips out of the vending machine at work?” YEAH AUNTIE…

8. Post Malone and the Red Hot Chill Peppers performed together for no good reason but I have a more important question: Can someone PLEASE teach these rappers how to perform live?

Go watch some old Busta Rhymes shows for inspiration or something. They’re out here wandering around the stage like they’re looking for their lost cell phone. Also, shout out to Flea for keeping his shirt on – that playa is ’bout 60 years old, we don’t need his nipples in 2019.

9. The tribute to Dolly Parton was awesome because she basically sang her own tribute! I’m not sure who let Katy Perry on stage – sounds like her notes were the One That Got Away. And did y’all peep Beck all confused in the audience? He was listening to Dolly like


10. Not really Grammy related but worth a note – WILL SMITH’S GENIE IS BLUE IN THE NEW ALADDIN TRAILER Y’ALL HAPPY NOW?


He still looks like the Avatar version of your creepy uncle. “Hey youngblood, let Unc hold 5 dollas for gas…”

11. I love HER, and I love “Hard Place,” but was I the only one slightly disappointed in her performance? It wasn’t awful by any means but she seemed a little winded – I’ve definitely heard better. Thankfully her background singers kept her afloat. And Twitter loved it, so I guess that counts.

And speaking of things Twitter irrationally loves…

12. Cardi B’s performance of “Money.” The way my timeline reacted you’d think that Prince himself descended from heaven on a cloud of Purple Rain and gave y’all ACTUAL money. Look, I think Cardi is funny, empowering and has a great rags-to-riches story. As a person, she’s cool. But y’all gotta admit that her music is mad mediocre on its best day.

Do I HAVE to say something nice about this performance? Well… I liked the costumes.

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13. Twitter spent all night ragging on poor Alicia Keys but even the biggest hater (namely me) had to be captivated by her dual-piano medley. Also, why didn’t she wear this outfit from the start instead of her Black History Month Memorial Wavecap?

alicia keys two pianos

Alicia, I need that hat when I rock this Darkwing Duck costume in October.

14. I can’t front like I knew who Dan + Shay were before tonight but MAN they have my attention now. Their performance of “Tequila” was incredible. They awarded Best Rap Song to, sigh, Drake, for “God’s Plan.” Earlier in the night, Childish Gambino’s “This is America” won Best Song.

Are y’all really giving out awards for songs based on their music videos going viral? That’s the only explanation.


Drake, who surprisingly was in the house to accept the award after snubbing a request to perform, went on a rant about the evils of the Grammys, essentially calling the award he just showed up and accepted meaningless: “If they’re singing in your hometown, you’re already winning, you don’t need this right here.”

And then the sound guy cut him off like a drunk driver on New Year’s Eve. Whoever did that deserves a raise and stock options.

15. Once again, a legend took her tribute into her own hands, with Diana Ross proudly telling the crowd that she was rocking the stage on her 75th birthday!


(…she was born in March…)

Eh, 74, 75, who cares – doesn’t she still looks younger than 90% of Trump’s staff?

Diana ross grammys

16. Playa, this James Blake, Earth Wind and Fire and Travis Scott mashup – y’all just picking names out of a hat or what? This was the trainiest of wrecks.

At this point we’ll see O-Town, Lil Cease and t.A.T.u. out there next.

17. WHEW BOY. Then this happened.

So it was announced about a week ago (shout out to Bobby Shmurda) that Jennifer Lopez would be performing a tribute to Motown.

Because when I think of Motown, I think of the woman who had to turn to freaking Ashanti for vocal assistance.


So yes, this Black History Month, J.Lo got to disrespect that Ric Flair robe AND hits like “Please Mr. Postman.” The performance was great if all you cared about was choreography but there was a severe deficit of actual SOUL. Thankfully, my wife provided clarity on this whole bizarre issue:

Me: What was the point of J Lo doing the Motown tribute?

Wifey: They needed someone who could dance around and Beyonce wouldn’t do it.

Black women are never wrong.

18. At this point we’re almost THREE HOURS into this show with about 90 more minutes to go. I know no one on this stage has to get up in the morning but what about the rest of us with car notes and student loans?

Every adult in America is Pusha T.

pusha t grammy

19. A gang of weird looking dudes that I assume are from My Hero Academia awarded HER with Best R&B Album, giving R&B a featured spot on the main show for the first time in forever! It’s the least they could do after giving us Motown Legend J. Lo.

And then, the vastly underrated Chloe X Halle, following a stirring performance of “Where is the Love,” named Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy Best Rap Album, making her the first female artist to win that award.

As you’d expect Twitter yasssssssssssssssed itself into a coma. The silver lining for me? At least that meant Cardi wasn’t winning Album of the Year, giving me a sliver of hope that Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer would get its rightful recognition.

But this is Trump’s America, we should be used to disappointment.

20. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, Andra Day delivered a moving tribute to Aretha Frankli-BUT WE GOTTA RUSH THEM OFF THE STAGE CUZ IT’S LATE AND WE GOT MORE TROPHIES TO GIVE OUT!

Record of the Year went to Childish Gambino’s “This is America” because everyone loved that video so much I guess, and Album of the Year went to …

Kacey Musgraves.

lady on phone

“Chile, I don’t know what they doin’, either. I know that valet man betta not had taken any of my good change out of my glove compartment. Mmmm hmmm, Imma count it, too.”

Are we EVER gonna give Janelle Monae her flowers while she can still smell them?


The Bottom Line: I picked on a lot of things on this show because you’ve gotta make your own entertainment when sitting through four hours of blabbering. But despite its gargantuan length, this wasn’t a bad show at all.

It was a clear indication that the future is female – if a woman was performing on screen and not named J.Lo, it ranged from solid to spectacular.

Of course, the Grammy winners themselves were often questionable, but hey, it’s 2019 where viral vids mean more than vocals.

Catch a few of the performances on YouTube tomorrow, then pull a Drake and abruptly cut off the rest.



  1. Jlo’s performance by itself was great. She really knows how to work the stage. However…it just wasn’t Motown. It didn’t feel like a tribute so much as another (albeit great) Jennifer Lopez performance. Few people can do what she can on stage. She just wasn’t the right performer for a Motown tribute.

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